Have you read about sugar addiction? There’s a reason it’s so frequently in news — studies reveal that sugar’s impact on the brain closely mimics the effect of taking illegal drugs. We spoke with Rachel Gargano, a nutritionist on the Reboot with Joe team, about sugar’s impact on your health and how to break free from this addiction. Coach Rachel will be leading our special Guided Reboot for Sugar Addiction, which kicks off on September 29.
Q: What are 3 things people should know about sugar addiction?
Sugar addiction is much more prevalent than assumed, and part of this has to do with the amount of sweet stuff the food industry pumps into our food. Amazingly, almost seventy-five percent of all packaged products found in a grocery store have added sugar.
So what would I want people to know?
- Sugar is hiding in most of the foods we eat. So sugar addiction can sneak up on us, changing our brain chemistry before we even have a chance to stop it.
- Sugar addiction is exactly the same as drug addiction. It can be as debilitating to overcome and have intense withdrawal symptoms.
- You CAN get over it, but it takes commitment, patience, healthy eating, self-love, and forgiveness.
Q: What happens when people take in too much sugar?
Studies are starting to find that taking in too much sugar can be as bad for our heart health as certain fats are! It can increase our weight and triglycerides; our risk for diabetes and heart disease; and can even change our behavior and cause nutrient deficiencies. Who would think that sweet, delicious, innocent sugar could wreak such extensive havoc on our health?
Q: What about the sugars present in fruit — should juicers be concerned about those?
Poor fruit, always getting a bad rap. While fruit is higher in sugar than vegetables, it is natural sugar and comes packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, while ‘fructose’ (sugar from fruit) may cause health problems when processed and added to packaged foods, when eaten in the whole food form the phytonutrients in fruit negate the poor health outcomes.
While we shouldn’t vilify fruit, it is still important to eat more vegetables than fruit. Aiming for about 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit during your day helps to keep your nutrient intake high and concentration of natural sweetness lower.
Q: How can your upcoming Guided Reboot help break a sugar addiction?
During this 30-day Reboot we are literally retraining your brain to crave healthier foods – produce! The journey will take you through withdrawal from sugar, helping to weaken your cravings and resetting your taste buds.
Juicing floods your body with an amazing amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which may help to reverse many of the nutrient deficiencies that sugar addiction can cause.
But sugar addiction can be pretty severe, so we can’t always just go cold-turkey without some slip-ups. This is okay. I’ll provide strategies to help get through the cravings, as well as how to get back on track if you’ve fallen prey to the addiction again.
Your journey is not about being perfect – it’s about taking control. We want to be in control of food rather than food controlling us.
Q: If there was one thing you could say to someone interested in this program, what would it be?
By the end of this Reboot we’ll have tackled both the mental and physical aspects of sugar addiction. Rebooters can expect weight loss, which is not only motivating, but interestingly also helps change the chemicals in the brain so that natural flavors taste good to us again. This means needing less added sugar, less added salt, and less added unhealthy fats – which is key to being successful once out of the Reboot and into ‘real life eating’ again.
Q: What are the most common and notable improvements you’ve seen from participants’ health?
Oh boy, narrowing down the health improvements to the most notable is tough! I’ve seen so many different wonderful health effects, including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as helping maintain more stable blood sugar levels. But I’m also very proud when Rebooters are able to change their relationship with food into a positive one.
Q: What would you say to someone concerned about juicing for 30 days?
What I love about the Reboot is that there is only one primary guideline: Taking in only vegetables and fruit. Doesn’t matter if they are juiced, raw, cooked, or blended; the Reboot is about produce. About immersing out bodies in nutrients. So while we encourage you to stick with only juices, if you need to have a little salad one day or munch on some raw veggies – you CAN! This is the beauty of our program. It helps teach flexibility within a healthy eating pattern.
Learn more about our special Guided Reboot for Sugar Addiction beginning on September 29. During this Guided Reboot, we will literally retrain your brain to crave healthier foods! Coach Rachel will be with you every step of the way through this Guided Reboot, as we commit to dropping pounds and breaking the sugar addiction once and for all.